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Cheney Shooting: White House Reporters, Clamoring for Attention, "Trying to Create" a Scandal

Reported by Melanie - February 13, 2006

The first segment today (February 13, 2006) on Fox's "premiere business news" program, Your World w/Neil Cavuto, was about Dick Cheney shooting his hunting buddy (Stock market? What stock market?) and the "scandal the media" is trying to make out of this silly, "minor" little accident.

Cavuto opened the show with:

Well, call it a spectacle at the White House press briefing today. Are reporters trying to create a White House scandal that simply does not exist? Reporters agitated, frustrated, even angry. Venting because they learned about the Vice President's hunting accident a day after it happened. That wasn't nearly soon enough for many of them and the tone soon shifted to scandal INAUDIBLE (it sounded like "boat").

With that Fox showed clips of several reporters asking questions of Scott McClellan, among them David Gregory of NBC News and Bill Plante of CBS News.

Back to Cavuto: "Well, was all of this shouting justified or a case of the press feeling a little bit self-important?"

Cavuto's guests were radio talk show host Mike Gallagher and one of Fox's favorite Democrats, the compliant Bob Beckel, both of whom are on the Fox News payroll.

Gallagher said, "This is a joke. It's fun to watch...the Vice President has an accident, a little buckshot winds up in some poor guy's face and the first thing he should do is call David Gregory on NBC?" I wonder "what else we have to confer upon the all-important news media to make sure we get their seal of approval when there's a minor hunting accident."

Beckel: "The point here is that yes, it is silly, it goes too far, but you know, it's the price you pay for year in and year out of misleading the press, particularly when it has to do with things dealing with Dick Cheney."

Cavuto: "So Bob, this is just payback, just because of that?" (Don't you love it? "Just because of that," which Cavuto apparently thinks is a "minor" thing too.)

Beckel: "Yeah, sure. That's what I think."

Gallagher reminded viewers that the press wasn't called immediately after Bill Clinton fell down the stairs at Greg Norman's house and that Ted Kennedy didn't call the press immediately after sending his car into the waters off Chappaquiddick. (No Fox segment would be complete without mentioning a Clinton or a Kennedy.)

Beckel, who took a few minutes to get with the program was now in the groove: "I have never seen a more self-important group of people in my life...than this crowd in the White House press office."

Gallagher: This takes the spotlight off of Al Gore "telling a bunch of audience members, mostly Saudis, that the United States is bad, bad, bad. That's worth getting outraged about."

Cavuto: "We are going to explore that topic later in the show." (Cavuto's idea of "exploring that topic" was this, his Common Sense or "analysis" segment ( as if he provides no "analysis" otherwise.).)

Comment: The Chicago Tribune's Frank James put it plainly:
"When a vice president of the U.S. shoots a man under any circumstance, that is extremely relevant information. What might be the excuse to justify not immediately making the incident public?"

According to Editor & Publisher, Michael Tackett, Washington bureau chief of the Chicago Tribune, wrote: "Part of the price of admission" to the position of Vice President, "is that there are very few things that can be considered private events. When what happened also prompts the generation of public records, police reports and hospital records, that certainly is not a private event."

Leave it to Fox to pare this down to nothing more than the (liberal) media clamoring for attention.

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